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  • Author: Muhammad Faizal, Bin Abdul Rahman
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines how Singapore as a small state will have to navigate a more contested world from a policy-relevant angle. A primary driver of geopolitical contestation today stems from emergent or Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies contributing to the redistribution of geopolitical power to the disadvantage of the established western-led international order. Even as Singapore embarks on numerous programmes to invest in and adopt 4IR technologies, it has to consider geopolitics besides technical specifications and budgetary issues. A small state will have to face trade-offs when it engages the competing big powers to preserve its neutrality and balance relations. It is difficult for small states to emulate each other’s strategies in balancing relations with the big powers given their varying levels of risk appetite and technological adoption, as well as their different geostrategic and geo-economic realities. Nevertheless, there are strategic steps that small states such as Singapore can take to defend its national interests better while investing in and adopting 4IR technologies.
  • Topic: National Security, Science and Technology, Global Political Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, Singapore
  • Author: Jeremy de Beer
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To remain competitive on a global scale, Canada needs to enhance its domestic intellectual property (IP) and digital trade strategies with an international approach that can respond to constantly changing global economic conditions. Although Canada launched its Intellectual Property Strategy in 2018 — focusing on IP awareness, strategic tools and legislation — its data initiative, known as the Digital Charter, remains a work in progress. Both policies would benefit from an outward-looking, interconnected, international strategic vision. As a member of various international trade agreements, Canada has framed its IP laws to align with these agreements and its trade partners. Canada should expand its trade relationships with Africa before other countries, such as China, take advantage of the continent’s rapidly growing economies and trade opportunities. Building strategic alliances with the right global partners, combined with the use of hard and soft laws to promote Canadian interests, will help Canada strengthen its international IP and digital trade strategy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Digital Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: June Park
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: June Park, political economist at the National Research Foundation of Korea, explains that “even the like-minded countries of GPAI have revealed their differences and institutional variance in deploying digital technology to fight COVID-19 at a time of grave national emergency and public health crisis.”
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Crisis Management, Trade, Artificial Intelligence, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Kaliappa Kalirajan, Huong Thi Thu Tran, Yochang Liu
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study aims to analyse the possibility and challenges of encouraging private sector investment in low-carbon energy systems in Asia, particularly across the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries, and to suggest an effective policy framework that governments could apply to improve the development and dissemination of low-carbon energy goods and technologies. The research questions examined in this study are: What type of policy measures affect trade in low-carbon energy systems transition, particularly the renewable energy transition? How can investment signals and incentives be reframed to scale up private finance in renewable energy through regional cooperation? The objective is to investigate and provide several market-based feasible trade policy and investment policy tools for both national and regional markets that governments could adopt to accelerate the speed of private financing of the low-carbon energy industry, particularly the renewable energy industry.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets, Trade, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, East Asia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Heiwai Tang, Douglas Zhihua Zeng, Albert Zeufack
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between Asia’s economic engagements in Africa and individual African nations’ participation in global value chains (GVC) over the past two decades. We find that while overall exports from Africa to Asia are still highly concentrated in resource-intensive sectors, a few African countries have exploited the emerging opportunities to diversify export portfolios through exporting to Asia. Each African nation has a distinct main trade partner in Asia, in contrast to the common view that China has become the dominant trade partner of most African nations. Using a panel data set for 46 African countries over 16 years from 2000 and 2015, we find that exports to Asia are positively correlated with exports to the rest of the world, suggesting that in contrast to trade diversion, trade with Asia complements exports to other countries. Asian economic engagement in the continent is associated with countries’ exports “moving up the value chain”, as measured by the upstreamness index proposed by Antras et al. (2012). However, such process was accompanied by a reduction in the length of their production chains, implying that fewer stages and countries are now involved in the production of exported goods.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy, Natural Resources, Partnerships, Exports, Trade, Global Value Chains, Data
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Chad P. Bown, Jennifer A. Hillman
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The United States, the European Union, and Japan have begun a trilateral process to confront the Chinese economic model, including its use of industrial subsidies and deployment of state-owned enterprises. This paper seeks to identify the main areas of tension and to assess the legal-economic challenges to constructing new rules to address the underlying conflict. It first provides a brief history of subsidy disciplines in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization (WTO) predating any concerns introduced by China. It then describes contemporary economic problems with China’s approach to subsidies, their impact, and the apparent ineffectiveness of the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures to address them. Finally, it calls for increased efforts to measure and pinpoint the source of the problems—in a manner analogous to how the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development took on agricultural subsidies in the 1980s—before providing a legal-economic assessment of proposals for reforms to notifications, evidence, remedies, enforcement, and the definition of a subsidy.
  • Topic: Economics, World Trade Organization, Tariffs, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In 2016, the United States elected an avowedly protectionist president. This paper uses US county-level electoral data to examine this outcome. The hypothesis that support for protectionism was purely a response to globalization is rejected. Exposure to trade competition encouraged a shift to the Republican candidate, but this effect is mediated by race, diversity, education, and age. If the turn toward protectionism is due to economic dislocation, then public policy interventions could mitigate the impact and support the reestablishment of a political consensus for open trade. If, however, the drivers are identity or cultural values, then the scope for constructive policy intervention is unclear.
  • Topic: Economy, Trade, Donald Trump, Protectionism
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Malcolm Cook
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Conventional narratives are either supported by facts or overcome them. Recent increased trade flows between the US and the ten economies of Southeast Asia suggest that the predominant narrative of the commercial displacement of the United States by China in Southeast Asia is incorrect. However, the United States’s growing trade deficits and shrinking surpluses with Southeast Asia do bolster an American mercantilist narrative that bilateral deficits are an economic loss for the US caused by Southeast Asian governments’ unfair trade policies.
  • Topic: Global Markets, Economy, Trade, Deficit
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Amitendu Palit
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations concluded at the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on November 4, 2019. Fifteen RCEP members, including the ten-ASEAN countries, and Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand, agreed to commence preparation of the legal text of the agreement for signing in 2020. India was the only member to opt out, citing significant unresolved outstanding issues. India’s decision was surprising as it actively participated in the negotiations that lasted for 29 rounds and went on for more than six years since beginning in 2013. Domestic pressures forced Prime Minister Modi to withdraw India from RCEP at the last minute. It also points to disengagement becoming the prominent character of India’s trade policy as domestic protectionist interests successfully undermine outward-oriented economic visions.
  • Topic: Politics, Treaties and Agreements, Economy, Trade, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: Duc Anh Dang
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The formation of global value chains (GVCs) has reshaped production processes across countries. This paper investigates the relationship between GVCs and firms’ employment by using panel data on Vietnamese small manufacturing firms for 2005–2011. The results suggest that increased foreign value added in exports results in higher wages, increased productivity, and a greater share of production workers in domestic small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, it brings about a lower share of professionals and makes smaller firms retrain their existing workers. At the same time, domestic value added in the export of intermediate products has negative impacts on employment and increases wages, particularly in medium-sized firms. All of these may come from the increased competition for labour from larger firms.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Labor Issues, Trade, Global Value Chains
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Amit Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades, every component of the global energy scenario has changed: demand, supply and energy-type. The only constant has been the U.S. Dollar as the currency of energy trade. Lately, the Chinese Yuan has emerged to challenge the Dollar. Can the Indian Rupee be a third player? India is now the world’s third-largest consumer and second-largest importer of energy. Its open market, transparent regulation and growing demand give it an opportunity to become the hub of a vibrant new oil market, simultaneously ensuring its energy security and raising the international profile of the Rupee. This paper explores the possibility the Rupee could be the third currency in which energy is traded, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Markets, Oil, Currency, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Uri Dadush, Marta Dominguez-Jimenez, Tianlang Gao
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: China and the European Union have an extensive and growing economic relationship. The relationship is problematic because of the distortions caused by China’s state capitalist system and the diversity of interests within the EU’s incomplete federation. More can be done to capture the untapped trade and investment opportunities that exist between the parties. China’s size and dynamism, and its recent shift from an export-led to a domestic demand-led growth model, mean that these opportunities are likely to grow with time. As the Chinese economy matures, provided appropriate policy steps are taken, it is likely to become a less disruptive force in world markets than during its extraordinary breakout period.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, European Union, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Théo Clément
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: While North Korea has developed Special Economic Zones for several decades now, these zones have attracted little attention from foreign investors, due to a mix of lack of economic reforms in the DPRK, the tense geopolitical situation, and China’s peculiar economic engagement towards North Korea. With the denuclearization process and North-South dialogue moving forward, this situation could change as South Korea’s announced policy of economic engagement with the North could provide Pyongyang the opportunity to play Beijing against Seoul to maximize its interests and attract foreign investment in Special Economic Zones from partners keen to maintain close ties with the DPRK.
  • Topic: Economics, Bilateral Relations, Investment, Trade, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Jongduk Kim, Moonhee Cho
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: In this study, we investigate the question whether importing countries’ implementation of protective trade measures, such as antidumping duties, leads to changes in foreign direct investment from trading partners. That is, we examine the prevalence of “ADP-jumping FDI” across countries. We use more recent and organized non-tariff measure data provided by the WTO I-TIP and Ghodsi et al. (2017), which can be matched with other trade-related variables. Using econometrically sensible identification strategies, the Tobit and the Heckman two-stage selection models, we find out that ADP-jumping FDI to importing countries prevails rather consistently around the world. These results are also consistent with those using Poisson and linear fixed effects models.
  • Topic: Foreign Direct Investment, Trade, Protectionism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Wendy Cutler, Peter Grey, Kim Jong-Hoon, Mari Pangestu, Yoichi Sozuki, Tu Xinquan
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S.-China trade dispute has dominated headlines over the past year, disrupting trade and investment flows and increasing uncertainty at a time when the global economy is already facing headwinds. The conflict has left many countries in the Asia Pacific feeling caught in the crossfire seeking to navigate the tensions without alienating either country. While the World Trade Organization (WTO) would ideally help reduce the frictions, it has not been up to the task. The paralysis at the WTO points to a deeper problem: it’s inability to keep up with the pace of change or address the challenges of new developments in advanced technologies and the digital economy. Simply put, the trade regime is in trouble and in need of reform. At this dynamic and uncertain time in trade, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) convened a group of leading trade experts and former trade officials from across the Asia Pacific, led by ASPI Vice President Wendy Cutler. In this issue paper, the authors examine the major developments in the international trading system, including the U.S.-China trade dispute, FTA activity in the Asia Pacific, and efforts to reform the WTO. In this challenging environment, the authors find that the Asia Pacific is uniquely well-positioned to lead reforms to get the system back on track. This paper is the latest product of the ASPI initiative, “Building a High Standard and Inclusive Asia-Pacific Trade Architecture.” It builds on the work of two previous reports published in March 2017 and January 2018.
  • Topic: Economy, Trade Wars, Trade, WTO
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Wendy Cutler, Hyemin Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: For nearly 70 years, the United States-Republic of Korea alliance has remained strong, built mainly on shared strategic and national security interests. While the North Korean nuclear threat has long dominated political discussions and media headlines, the economic pillar of the relationship is no less important. With amendments to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) now in place, it is an opportune time for both countries to look beyond KORUS and expand their bilateral economic engagement to new and evolving areas. This closer cooperation can serve as an engine for growth in a slowing Korean economy, as an opportunity for job creation in the United States, and as a vehicle for jointly writing the rules for the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As policymakers in Washington and Seoul look to the future, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) charts a possible path forward in its newest issue paper, Advancing the U.S.-Korea Economic Agenda. This paper presents a range of concrete actions that the United States and South Korea can take to advance and strengthen their bilateral economic relationship in the areas of trade and investment, energy, digital economy and advanced technologies, infrastructure, and women’s economic empowerment. The recommendations included in this paper are based partly on two roundtables ASPI organized with South Korean and American experts in Seoul in June 2018, with support from the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, and in Washington, D.C., in October 2018. The ideas are also based on discussions with government officials, business leaders, and think tank experts.
  • Topic: National Security, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Alliance, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Nicholas Crawford
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China has become the largest lender to developing countries, and a major investor there too. As a result, it has a major stake in many countries facing political and economic instability. Western policymakers involved in responding to instability and crises overseas need to understand how China navigates these situations. China’s approach is similar in some respects to that of Western states, but there are also important differences. China’s policy towards countries facing political and economic instability is driven by four main concerns: It seeks to strengthen and maintain its partnerships with those countries to ensure they remain open to and supportive of the Chinese government and its businesses. China is determined to protect its financial interests, businesses and citizens from the harms that result from instability. It is concerned to see its loans repaid, its investments secure, its workers safe and its supply chains undisrupted. It wants to maintain its narrative of non-interference. Any intervention in the politics or policies of its partner states must be seen as being at the invitation of their governments (although China may pressure its partners for consent). China wants to increase its influence in the world, independently and distinctively. It is increasingly proactive in its response to instability in partner countries. Some responses seek to address the instability directly; other responses are intended to protect Chinese interests in spite of the instability. This paper analyses the political economy of China’s responses to instability, identifies the types of responses China undertakes, and assesses these responses.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Developing World, Political stability, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Europe, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Maciej Bałtowski, Piotr Kozarzewski
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The paper discusses the role of the state in shaping an economic system which is, in line with the welfare economics approach, capable of performing socially important functions and achieving socially desirable results. We describe this system through a set of indexes: the IHDI, the World Happiness Index, and the Satisfaction of Life index. The characteris-tics of the state are analyzed using a set of variables which describe both the quantitative (government size, various types of governmental expenditures, and regulatory burden) and qualitative (institutional setup and property rights protection) aspects of its functioning. The study examines the “old” and “new” member states of the European Union, the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe and Asia, and the economies of Latin America. The main conclusion of the research is that the institutional quality of the state seems to be the most important for creation of a socially effective economic system, while the level of state interventionism plays, at most, a secondary and often negligible role. Geographical differentiation is also discovered, as well as the lack of a direct correlation between the characteristics of an economic system and the subjective feeling of well-being. These re-sults may corroborate the neo-institutionalist hypothesis that noneconomic factors, such as historical, institutional, cultural, and even genetic factors, may play an important role in making the economic system capable to perform its tasks; this remains an area for future research.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economy, Economic Growth, State, Economic Policy, Institutions, Trade, Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, European Union
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Romina Bandura
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is a small independent federal agency whose mission is to help American “companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies.” USTDA links American businesses to export opportunities in emerging markets by funding activities such as project preparation and partnership building in sectors including transportation, energy, and telecommunications. Since it was established 25 years ago, the agency has generated a total of $61 billion in U.S. exports and supported over 500,000 American jobs. In connecting American business to such opportunities, USTDA also links American technology’s best practices and ingenuity with U.S. trade and development policy priorities. USTDA is an instrument to enable American-led infrastructure development in emerging economies and, therefore, frequently sees increasing competition from government-backed Chinese firms and the challenge they can pose to American commercial engagement under the flag of One Belt, One Road (OBOR). OBOR is paving the way for Chinese engineering, procurement, and construction companies to prepare and develop infrastructure projects in OBOR countries in a way that favors Chinese standards, thereby exerting significant pressure to select Chinese suppliers. This creates a potentially vicious cycle—the more China builds, the faster their standards become the international norm, and, ultimately, this cycle could foreclose export opportunities for U.S. businesses and harm American competitiveness in global infrastructure development. U.S. exporters are increasingly requesting USTDA intervention at the pivotal, early stages of a project’s development, to compete in markets, such as the OBOR countries, where they frequently face Chinese competition. Of note, 40 percent of USTDA’s activities in 2016 were in OBOR countries across South and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Although there are other agencies that may seem to do work similar to USTDA, there are various aspects that make it a unique agency. This paper provides a brief description of USTDA, its origin and evolution, the impact on the U.S. economy and its proactive collaboration across U.S agencies. Finally, it offers a set of recommendations for USTDA on how to improve its operations and strengthen its role in the developing world.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Communications, Infrastructure, Trade, Transportation
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Asia, North America
  • Author: Matthew Funaiole, Jonathan Hillman
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The issue: China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) seeks to connect Beijing with trading hubs around the world. Beijing insists the MSRI is economically motivated , but some observers argue that China is primarily advancing its strategic objectives. This article examines several economic criteria that should be used when analyzing port projects associated with the MSRI. China’s leaders have mapped out an ambitious plan, the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), to establish three “blue economic passages” that will connect Beijing with economic hubs around the world.1 It is the maritime dimension of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which could include $1–4 trillion in new roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure. Within this broad and ever-expanding construct, Chinese investments have been especially active in the Indo-Pacific region, raising questions about whether it is China’s economic or strategic interests that are driving major port investments.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Imperialism, Maritime, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Gurmeet Kanwai
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Issue The development of Gwadar Port is a key element of the greater China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It speaks to both the strength of the China-Pakistan relationship and the reach of China’s grand strategy. With Pakistan’s two other major ports operating near capacity with no room for expansion, projects in Gwadar promise to eventually handle one million tons of cargo annually, while also providing significant industrial, oil, and transportation infrastructure. Though a “monument of Pakistan-China friendship,” there are misgivings on both sides about CPEC, including the safety of Chinese workers, the resentment of Baloch nationalists, and the growing debt trap created by the project. The prospect of the PLA Navy in Gwadar poses greater security questions, as it forms another link in China’s efforts to expand its maritime presence in the Indo-Pacific region. The members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad,” comprised of India, Japan, Australia, and the United States, should counter China’s strategic outreach by networking with other like-minded countries on cooperative security frameworks to ensure a free, open, prosperous, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
  • Topic: Security, Oil, Regional Cooperation, Global Political Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Japan, China, Middle East, India, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Gordon Houlden
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In 2017, Canada engaged in several rounds of exploratory discussions for a potential free trade agreement (FTA) with the People’s Republic of China. It seemed probable that this exploratory phase would be followed by the opening of formal rounds of negotiations, to be announced during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to China in December 2017. An FTA appeared to be a priority for Trudeau since his government came into office in 2015 (Global Affairs Canada, 2017a; Lu, 2017; PMO, 2017); however, such negotiations were put on hold indefinitely, ostensibly due to irreconcilable differences on gender and labour issues. Despite this setback, it is likely that the Canadian government will continue to explore this option in the coming years, particularly with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in jeopardy. While there are many potential benefits of a Canada-China free trade agreement (CCFTA), there are also significant national security implications that will deserve particular attention. The security dimension will be the focus of this paper. Prospective CCFTA negotiations with China would be both complex and time consuming, in part due to the wide divergences between the Canadian and Chinese economies, as well as differences between Canadian and Chinese administrative and legal systems. Negotiations could therefore take several years to conclude, and might not be finished until well after the 2019 federal election. It took a full decade to sign and ratify the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), although it appears that the most difficult portion of the negotiations was wrapped up in the final two years. It is unlikely that a CCFTA will move as slowly as the Australian FTA did, in part because of the established Australian precedent and because of China’s increasing familiarity with FTA negotiations that involve advanced economies. For this reason, Canada would benefit from approaching a CCFTA after Australia, but before many other Western countries. Chinese and Canadian negotiators will be consumed with elaborating the principles of each side’s responsive FTA approaches, as well as the myriad of details involving thousands of products and services that a CCFTA’s provisions would affect. Canadian negotiators will seek a high-quality FTA that covers a large percentage of our export and import products with China, as well as an agreement that covers all key sectors and industries. There is also likely to be a Canadian focus on addressing China’s use of non-tariff barriers to trade which currently inhibit Canadian firms from taking full advantage of the massive China market. Such measures include the Chinese Ministry of Health’s 2013 changes to food safety standards which required all imported food products to list detailed nutritional components in Chinese. Procedural barriers such as this represent a significant hurdle for Canadian firms, and cause uncertainty among international exporters that want to break into the Chinese domestic market. In theory, the centralized Chinese economy lacks the regional complexity of the Canadian federal state, characterized by sub-national units, but in reality, China’s provinces and municipalities can, and often do, impose barriers to foreign imports, often to protect market share for local substantive industries. To date, China has FTAs with only a handful of developed countries. Australia, Korea, Switzerland, Iceland, Singapore and New Zealand currently have bilateral FTAs with China, and several others, such as Norway and Israel, are in FTA negotiations. China is also floating ideas for FTAs with developing countries, including India. China is far more trade-dependent than the United States, although by comparison China is not nearly as trade-dependent as Canada is.1 The balance of trade is currently in China’s favour: China exports US$46 billion to Canada, versus the US$16 billion that it imports from Canada (MIT, 2016a). However, it is important to note that China’s exports to Canada account for only 2.2 per cent of China’s total merchandise exports (MIT, 2016b).
  • Topic: Security, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Free Trade, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Jeff Kucharski
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada’s growing interest in trade with countries in the Indo-Pacific region corresponds with an ominous growth in geopolitical instability and insecurity in that part of the globe. With Indo-Pacific hunger for oil expected to soar – especially in China, where demand will translate to 80 per cent of imports in 10 years – Canada needs to develop policies to deal with the region’s turbulent realities. The Indo-Pacific comprises countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and includes such unstable and unpredictable players as North Korea and Pakistan, both of which have nuclear weapons and long-simmering border tensions. India is an emerging economic and military rival to China. In the next 20 years, China and India are expected to lead the global demand for gas as coal consumption continues to decline, and Canada has a stake in this prosperous future. Along with territorial squabbles in the region, Canada will have to deal with complex issues such as terrorism, human trafficking, transnational crime, piracy and cyber-crime, as well as the struggle for global dominance between China and the U.S. One key area for potential conflict is China’s recent construction and militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea. The Canadian government’s new military strategy, Strong, Secure, Engaged does little more than make a plea for peace and the rule of law in the South China Sea. However, more trade crosses the Pacific Ocean from Canada than crosses the Atlantic. And with Canada signing on to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the region’s troubles will need to be resolved by more than good intentions on paper. Canada must shift more diplomatic, security and military resources to the Indo- Pacific; otherwise, its efforts will be spread too thinly to be effective in the region. Trade, especially through a major route like the Strait of Malacca, could easily be disrupted by any one of a number of disputes, such as a conflict between China and Taiwan or if historic resentments boil over among competing territorial claimants in the region. Thus, Canada needs to step up and reaffirm its security commitments to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a partner in the region. Participating in maritime exercises and Freedom of Navigation (FON) operations would also help to reinforce to countries in the region the importance of abiding by international law. Meanwhile, Canada should set aside for now any intentions to negotiate a free trade agreement with China. China does not share some of Canada’s key trade and security goals and its aggressive behaviour in the South and East China Seas clearly signal that now is not the time to talk about a trade pact. China must demonstrate that it is willing to take a more cooperative approach to resolving trade and security issues in the Indo-Pacific and to support and respect the rule of law in the region. Canada has the potential to become a reliable, stable source of energy for Indo-Pacific countries. There is also an opportunity for provinces such as Alberta to strike their own strategic deals to provide energy resources to countries in that region, in return for trade and investment benefits. However, while investing at home in the necessary infrastructure and export capability to expand its role, Canada must also strive to bring its own unique approach to enhancing regional and energy security in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Geopolitics, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Hugh Stephens
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The “non-market” clause in the just-concluded update of NAFTA, now known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would appear to limit Canada’s options in terms of negotiating a free trade agreement with China at the present time (given the de facto U.S. veto over a Canada-China agreement that it provides), yet Prime Minister Trudeau has already reaffirmed Canada’s intention to pursue closer economic ties with China despite this apparent limitation. If negotiations proceed, negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with China will be very different from negotiating one with a country that shares Canada’s Western values. However, a trade agreement with China makes good economic sense, and while there are some unique obstacles to reaching such an agreement owing to differing views of progressive trade, these are not insurmountable. In fact, Canada can use the same models in negotiating with China that it has used with Western countries. Such an approach combines trade goals with respecting Chinese cultural and political differences, particularly those that fall into the category of progressivism. This category includes labour rights, Indigenous and gender issues, and governance. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has been focused on progressive elements in trade deals, while China has made it clear it is not interested in including them in any such pact. Concluding an agreement would mean that China and Canada must both recognize the political requirements and dynamics on the opposite side of the negotiating table, while seeking common ground diplomatically. Side agreements such as those that exist in the original NAFTA and in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are one way to work with the two countries’ differences. Many of the provisions in a side agreement are not binding and thus not subject to the agreement’s dispute settlement mechanism or trade sanctions. Instead, they are more aspirational and sometimes lay out a process for civil society groups to raise issues and help the thinking on those issues evolve, rather than simply holding the parties accountable for breaches. Canada is rightly concerned about Chinese stances on human rights, labour, environmental and gender issues. However, instead of including these issues in the main document on trade, they can be dealt with as shared interests between the two countries. Establishing separate but parallel mechanisms to deal with these issues would be a practical way to make progress. Focusing on micro, small and medium-sized businesses as one Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) did, could be another successful approach. Women own many of these businesses in developing countries, so such a focus would make a substantial contribution to their welfare. None of this means Canada should kowtow to China or look the other way on important values and issues. Side agreements and special focuses have formed parts of agreements with other countries that already share Canada’s Western values. This type of give-and-take is present even when Canada negotiates with countries that are not polar opposites. No country’s interests are exactly the same as those of any other and it’s unrealistic to expect unanimity on every issue. Language and firm commitments on progressive issues are still evolving in many of Canada’s free trade agreements, including the USMCA. It would be unreasonable to hope that everything can be achieved in an agreement with China on the first go-around. Rather, viewing a trade agreement with China as a work-in-progress means controversial elements can be brought into the negotiations and language used that reflects the understanding that these issues are evolving. It will require creative thinking, flexibility and joint commitment to find a solution, but—assuming that the USMCA does not rule out Canada-China negotiations toward a trade agreement— it should be possible to find sufficient common ground without having to resort to obfuscation and “creative ambiguity”.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions, NAFTA, Free Trade, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Kyu Yub Lee
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, quantifying the welfare effects from tariff changes has become one of the main challenges among international trade economists. There are a number of quantitative trade models with micro-foundations which emphasize demand-side (Anderson and Van Wincoop 2003), supply-side (Eaton and Kortum 2002), Bertrand competition (Bernard et al. 2003), extensive and intensive margin (Chaney 2008), etc, and conclude that trade liberalization with tariff reductions leads an economy to reach a higher level of welfare compared to pre-liberalization (Costinot and Rodriguez-Clare 2014). While elegant, these models inducing gravity equations share the common assumption, a perfect labor market. Quantitative trade models with full-employment developed so far have not taken account of labor market frictions when evaluating the welfare effects from tariff changes. This paper aims to fill the gap in the trade literature by explicitly considering labor market frictions. I employ search-and-matching to a multi-country and multi-sector Ricardian model with input-output linkages, trade in intermediate goods, and sectoral heterogeneity, in order to quantify the welfare effects from tariff changes. The paper shows that labor market frictions can be a source of comparative advantage in the sense that better labor market conditions contribute to lower cost in production. Labor market frictions play a critical role in determining the probability of exporting goods to trading partners, and interact with bilateral trade share, price, expenditures, etc. Unemployment and changes in unemployment rates due to tariff reductions contribute welfare changes across countries, implying that welfare effects based on quantitative trade models with full-employment are likely to be biased. I confirm the biased welfare effects by revisiting Caliendo and Parro (2015), who conduct an analysis of the welfare effects from the NAFTA from 1993 to 2005. I show that the welfare gap between theirs and mine has a positive correlation with changes in observed unemployment rates across countries. With the constructed model, I further conduct counterfactual exercises by asking what would happen if China’s tariffs remain unchanged from 2006 to 2015. It turns out that there are mild welfare effects to trading partners in the world trading system.
  • Topic: Tariffs, Economic Policy, Trade, Unemployment, Welfare
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Michelle Nicholasen
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: After President Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement earlier this year, it seemed that NAFTA was next in his crosshairs. But soon President Trump is expected to take a measured approach to the issue of trade and step away—at least temporarily—from his threats to dismantle the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by signing an executive order calling for a comprehensive study of US trade imbalances. The Trump worldview has consistently blamed foreign trade deficits, especially those with China, for job losses here at home. He has wanted to take down NAFTA to purportedly save American jobs, calling it “the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country.”Much like healthcare, trade networks are complicated, and not all agreements have the same goals. It’s instructive to take a closer look at both TPP and NAFTA, two very different trade agreements, to evaluate how a more protectionist stance might play out. Heavily promoted by the Obama administration, TPP would have allowed the United States to form a trade consortium with eleven Pacific Rim nations (representing 40 percent of the world’s GDP) to secure market access and protections for certain US industries. More than this, the political reason to join TPP was to provide a US-led counterweight to China’s growing dominance in the region’s economy.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Canada, Asia, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Hugh Stephens
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The Trump administration’s arrival has scrambled the cards in the trade policy world. Not only will the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) be reopened with uncertain results, but President Donald Trump has scuttled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by announcing the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement. Canada, originally cool toward the TPP, pushed hard to be included in it. The TPP became the centrepiece of Canada’s Asia trade strategy, notwithstanding some public ambivalence on the part of the Trudeau government. With the TPP in its present form now in limbo, Canada still has options in Asia. First, it can keep an open mind with regard to the possible reconstitution of the TPP in another form, such as “TPP Minus One” (i.e., minus the U.S.). It should also push to reopen the bilateral negotiations with Japan that were suspended when that country joined the TPP negotiations. Canada is already exploring the possibility of an economic partnership agreement with China, perhaps on a sectoral basis, and simultaneously, it should actively pursue negotiation of a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) community. This could in time provide Canada access to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) currently being negotiated among 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and would position Canada well in the eventuality that a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) emerges. In the meantime, uncertainty regarding NAFTA’s future needs to be addressed. This uncertainty makes it more difficult for Canada to attract Asian investment but it also provides further impetus for Canada to diversify its trading relationships and to explore stronger relationships with Asian economies.
  • Topic: International Affairs, NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, United States of America, North America
  • Author: Yeo Joon Yoon, Woong Lee
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes 2015-TPA voting patterns in the Congress in the context of the trade negotiating objectives. By setting the trade negotiating objectives, the Congress lays out important trade agenda that the Administration is ex-pected to address when it is negotiating trade deals with foreign countries. Therefore setting the objectives is subject of heated debates in the Congress and an important part of TPA. LPM and probit models are used to evaluate the importance of each trade negotiating objectives in 2015-TPA voting deci-sions. It turns out that the objective on promoting U.S. agricultural exports by reducing unfair trade barriers positively affected the voting decision in favor of the TPA. The objective on enforcing strong labor standards on trade partners also had significant impacts. One other notable result is that how much each congressional region export to China was also an important de-terminant. This variable is meant to capture several negotiating objectives as well as growing worries of large trade deficits with China. This study docu-ments important issues that U.S. Congress is concerned about in making conducting and implementing trade policies. It may provide insights into the future course of U.S. trade policy and trade deals such as renegotiation of NAFTA and Korea-US FTA.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, NAFTA, Voting, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Barry Cooper
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: At the end of the Pacific War, the United States wrote a new constitution for Japan that included an article compelling their defeated adversary forever to renounce war as an instrument of state policy. Today, in response to changing economic and geopolitical realities, Japan had the most effective military forces in Northeast Asia. This paper discusses the reasons for the change and how Japan was able to interpret constitutional pacifism so as to respond to the political necessities created by its confrontational neighbours. The “view from Tokyo” presented in this report will be of interest to Canadians not least of all because it differs from the more familiar “view from Beijing.” Japan today is a stable democracy and a natural trading partner for Canada. Understanding the evolution of Japanese security policy will assist Canadians in understanding the evolution of postwar Japan.
  • Topic: Security, History, Geopolitics, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Canada, Asia
  • Author: Jiang Nan
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: The illegal ivory trade fuels illegal elephant poaching in both Africa and Asia. The illegal ivory trade in China is considered a key threat to the survival of the elephant species: since 2009, China has become the largest illegal ivory market in the world. Although China has uncovered a great number of cases of illegal ivory trade with the seizure of illegal ivory in the past decade, this trade is still growing. A deeper understanding of the nature and patterns of illegal ivory trade through an analysis of ivory seizure data should improve the efficiency of efforts to prevent the illegal ivory trade in China. This paper analyses data on 106 seizures of illegal ivory that was collected from Chinese news reports between 1999 and 2014, with a particular focus on its frequency and illegal trade ‘hotspot’ locations in China. The analysis found three illegal ivory trade cycles (2001–2005, 2006–2010, and 2011–2014) and four hotspots. Preventing the illegal ivory trade will require more international cooperation and coordination between China and other countries.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Trade, Illegal Trade, Ivory
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Marius Grinius
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Arguably the mid-1990s were Canada’s “Golden Age of Asia”, highlighted by the Team Canada trade visits by Prime Minister Jean Chretien and the provincial Premiers to China, India, Pakistan and Japan, as well as to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. At the same time Canada played a prominent role in Asian security matters. This included Canadian expert participation in multilateral discussions on the South China Sea and in the North Pacific Cooperative Security Dialogue, a Canadian initiative. That particular Golden Age culminated with the Government proclaiming 1997 as “Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific”. Trade statistics indicate that Canada has once again rediscovered Asia, at least in terms of commercial prospects. What is less clear, however, is Canada’s commitment to the security and stability challenges that Asia continues to face. Notwithstanding all of the positive indicators of economic success in the Asia-Pacific region and all of the incentives for even greater prosperity within a predictable and peaceful environment, there are still many instances of potential military conflict that could jeopardize Asia’s economic successes. While Canada has considerable economic interests in Asia Pacific, its security record there is modest. Now, when China is our number two trading partner and Japan is number three, when we have our first Asian Free Trade Agreement, when we are looking to closer economic ties with the Asia-Pacific region, it would make sense for Canada to contribute more substantially to Asia Pacific’s long-term stability and security architecture. It has in the past. Canada has expressed its desire to join the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus Forum. It appears, however, that ASEAN is still not quite convinced of Canada’s commitment to Southeast Asia, or to Asia, and continues politely to stall until such time as Canada can show a serious, long-term track record of participation in ASEAN strategic and security priorities. The Asian way requires frequent and consistent face-time. Relationships matter. The regular message from polite ASEAN interlocutors remains the same: where is Canada? From the late 1980s and to about 2006, Canadian academic experts were closely involved in all relevant Asian fora, including the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, the Council for Security Cooperation in Asia Pacific and the North Pacific Cooperative Security Dialogue. The Canadian Consortium on Asia Pacific Security, a group of some one hundred researchers across Canada, was highly active in Track II diplomacy (informal, non-governmental and unofficial) on Asian security issues. This included Canadian Law of the Sea experts who addressed South China Sea issues, a ten-year effort co-hosted and funded by Indonesia and CIDA. Government of Canada funding for this type of work, however, has dried up. All current Canadian Track II efforts are funded by private institutions. Just when China is taking an aggressive stance in the South China Sea, Canada is absent. Canada must demonstrate a stronger and more consistent commitment to Asia that goes well beyond the economic-commercial dimension. It must include a robust defence and security dimension. Canada has, for now, chosen to emphasize a mercantile foreign policy. Such an approach, however, must not ignore the need for a strong defence policy anchored within a vigorous foreign policy that is able to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. This applies to Canada’s approach to the Asia-Pacific region as much as to the rest of the world. Neither a “Global Markets Action Plan” nor a separate “Canada First Defence Strategy”, both formulated in a policy vacuum, is sufficient. There is a serious need for a Foreign Policy and complementary Defence Policy review, one where the Asia-Pacific region will be prominent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Military Affairs, Trade
  • Political Geography: Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Sara Yi-ying Lin Lin
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: Established in 2008, The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been closely followed by the major trading nations in the Asia-Pacific. Taiwan, or the Republic of China (ROC), and other non-members have been observing the developments in the negotiation process of this “21st Century Agreement” and preparing their respective country’s strategies and policies in response to the agreement. As a member of the Asia-Pacific region, it is critical for Taiwan to join the TPP in the near future.
  • Topic: Alliance, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Pradumna B. Rana, Wai-Mun Chia
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that contrary to popular belief, in the bygone era, there was not one but two Silk Roads in Asia – the Northern and the less well-known South-western Silk Road (SSR). The SSR connected South/Central Asia with southern China and present day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). After enjoying a rich history of around 1,600 years, the Silk Roads went into disrepair. Now, for various economic, security, and political reasons, land connectivity is once again making a comeback in Asia. These include the (i) ―Go West‖ and the recent ―New Silk Roads‖ policies of China; (ii) ―Look East‖ policies of South Asia; (iii) opening of Myanmar, a node between South Asia and East Asia; and (iv) growing importance of supply-chain trade. The focus has, however, been mainly on reviving the Northern Silk Road with relatively few actions being initiated to revive the SSR. Mirroring the on-going efforts in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the Central Asian region, this paper proposes four economic corridors for Pan-Asian connectivity that is to connect South/Central Asia with southern China and ASEAN. The paper argues that the revival of land connectivity in Asia is making Maritime Asia of the past, more continental-based. One implication is that regional institutions focusing solely on Maritime Asia, such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), may be losing some of their relevance vis-à-vis say the more continental-based China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The other is that the influence of the West in Asia‘s security may be declining relative to that of China, India, and Russia.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Asia
  • Author: Il Houng Lee, Yung Chul Park
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Despite a few landmark progresses such as the Chiang Mai Initiative, financial deepening and monetary integration in East Asia has been slow. Meanwhile, proliferation of FTAs and China’s successful accession to the WTO have enabled faster progress on trade integration among the East Asian economies. Building on the expanding intra- regional trade, we suggest to create a multilateral currency arrangement where some of the national currencies could be used for trade settlement within the cooperative framework of ASEAN+3. This would facilitate closer financial integration and greater flexibility of the Asian currencies against the US dollar without being kept captive by the slow progress in capital account liberalization in some countries.
  • Topic: Finance, Currency, Trade, Capital
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia, Korea
  • Author: In Huh
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: East Asian Countries has developed the financial cooperation via CMIM, ABMI after the Asian currency crisis. Lee and Park (2014) and Rhee and Sumulong (2014) advocate the use of local currencies in trade settlements. The regional currency settlements will reduce the USD dependancy in the regional economy, so it will promote financial stability in the region. But they might induce risks for Korean economy. Korea’s trade accounts are deficit with Middle East and Japan and surplus with other regions. Most USD settled trade surplus comes from trades with China and ASEAN. Therefore, if the regional currency settlement increases in East Asia, then USD settled surplus would be shrunk considerably since the trade deficit with Middle East still would be settled in USD. The increased interconnection of regional economy may speed up the spread of financial crisis if it happens in the region. And it is possible that currencies in East Asia are valued as a bloc regardless of Korean macroeconomy conditions. Traders may choose only Yuan for their settlement when the regional currency settlement is promoted since China promoted Yuan internationalization. The convertibility of local currencies should be guaranteed to avoid any problem caused by USD surplus reduction problem. The crisis prevention effort should be strengthened and local currencies’ FX hedging tools should be provided to traders. We should make KRW more acceptable in the region in order to minimize potential risks associated with increased local currency settlements.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Finance, Risk, Currency, Trade
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia, Korea